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Monday, January 20, 2014

Treating burns with heat

A couple of days ago, I was taking hot pans out of the oven.  In a rush, and not paying attention, I started to pick up a hot baking dish, but quickly let it go--too late.  My fingers burned!  Remembering an article I'd read a while ago about using hot water instead of cold to treat burns, I immediately ran hot water, as hot as I could stand, over my fingers and hand.  Then I rested my hand in a bowl of hot water--again, as hot as I could stand--for about 15 minutes.  When I got through, the results were nothing short of miraculous.  My fingers had a mild sting, barely noticeable, with no blistering whatsoever. 

The next day, there was no sign of having been burned at all, not by sight nor by sensation.  The baking dish had come out of a 400°F oven only 5 minutes before, it had not cooled, my fingers grasped it firmly before I let go.  I've grabbed hot things before--who hasn't?--and have always had at least mild blisters, or at least reddened skin, but not this time.  

It makes sense, when you think of it.  We treat frostbite with cool water, slowly raising the temperature of the skin, then why not decrease the temperature slowly as well, so as to avoid tissue damage?  Treating burns with heat is very homeopathic, to say the least.

Now, I don't know if I'd use hot water on a burn from liquids.  I'll have to think about that.  However, for dry burns, I'm keeping this one in my repertory.

Oh, and as an aside, I searched for this treatment on the internet.  Maybe it can be found on page 1004, but no matter how I phrased the search, I was unable to find any reference to treating burns with heat.  So much for information availability. I don't remember when or where I read about it, but I can't find it now. 

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